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Ancient Egyptian technology

Ancient Egyptians tended to adopt and refine imported technologies rather than invent new ones themselves.

This conservatism grew, in part, from the way the Egyptians worked. Laboring in teams rather than individually, each person had a very specific job. New tools or technologies might have disrupted the work pattern of other team members. Also, skilled craftsmen were usually attached to royal or temple workshops or to large private estates, where there was little need to speed up production or lower cost. The quality of the finished product mattered more than time and expense.

However, the Egyptians did make inventive use of natural resources. The Egyptians especially used rich stone quarries in the deserts flanking the Nile Valley. They also imported many of the materials used to make their luxury goods: copper and turquoise from Sinai; gold from Nubia; and fine wood from Syria and Lebanon.

New technologies – wheeled vehicles, for example – resulted from foreign contact. For example, in the Old Kingdom (~ BCE - BCE), the Egyptians attached wheels to cumbersome objects like ladders to help move them. However, they only began to use wheels for transportation after they saw the chariots driven by Hyksos during the Second Intermediate Period. They then started making carts, wagons, and chariots of their own.